SNARES

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TROUBLE IN PARADISE

Coming home from a bad trip seems like a dream come true.  Along with the dream may come the nightmare though.  If we are to restore the temple, the law comes along with it, and we will remember our mistakes along the way.

Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.  For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.  And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.  Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.  Ezra 9:1-4

Even today we are encouraged to union with fellow believers.  Life is hard if a partner is asked to approach challenges without faith.  Illness, finances, and moods are easier for us because we trust another source for help.  Without that hope we are like Israel at the sea with the Egyptian army moving up behind us.  Can a partner trust their mate as Israel had to trust Moses?  Even the wife of Moses failed to understand the circumcision of his faith.  Ezra knows the danger, and is shocked to get this news.

And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,  And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.  Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.  And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.  For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.  Ezra 9:5-9

Ezra finds himself with the same Israel that Moses had known, and is burdened with grief.  He knows that the warnings of the prophets were fulfilled, and that they faced the same threat now.  Like Moses he begins intercession for mercy to the people. 

And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments,  Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.  Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.  And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this;  Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?  O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.  Ezra 9:10-15

I think Ahab may have been able to have faith after seeing so many miracles, but for his wife Jezebel.  Israel has found their own distractions in wives and husbands who cannot see their hope.  Ahab may even have accepted Yeshua after the crucifixion, as many Old Testament souls did.  But what was Jezebel?  She was just another woman who was not predestinated to salvation.  Aren’t there a lot of these of both genders?

Lord, don’t let us have the desires that we should be punished for.  Take the iniquity out of Israel your church.  Do not allow us to indulge the little pleasures of sin to make the church grow.  Prevent us from winking at sin and dogma to fit in to the beliefs of our world.  Help us to return to Jerusalem in spirit and truth by sacrificing the beauty that leads us away from life.  Separate us from religion that is not of faith in Yeshua and from the world that will welcome an anti-Christ.  Keep us as your people.

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ARMORED DELIVERANCE

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PERILOUS JOURNEY

With the approval of all authority Ezra sets out to deliver the people and materials for the restoration of the temple and Jerusalem.  He will embark with treasures on a dangerous route by faith.

These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.  Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush.  Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.  Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.  Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.  Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.  And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.  And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.  Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.  And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males.  And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.  And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.  And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.  Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.  Ezra 8:1-14

This is not a huge army returning to the work at hand.  They will move the materials and provisions for a long overland journey.  They had a considerable task, and Ezra made some plans and preparations.

And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.  Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.  And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.  And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;  And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;  Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name  Ezra 8:15-20

Ezra discovered a glaring lack among the gathering; there were no priests.  Knowing the need for God’s guidance he sent for Levites and men of faith to lead the spiritual warfare ahead of them.

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.  For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.  So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.  Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them, Ezra 8:21-24

As a leader Ezra took the initiative to put the priests to work and the people to prayer and fasting.  There was good reason to pray, as they were transporting great treasures through strange lands.  Having boasted to the king of the protection of God he decided to assure that they sought God in prayer.  He confidently states that God answered in the affirmative.  Then he started another preparation.

And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:  I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents;  Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.  And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.  Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD. Ezra 8:25-29

Ezra charges the priests to weigh and watch the treasures they are to carry to Jerusalem.  Not only are there enemies and thieves along the way, but there could be a Judas among the people themselves.  Now they are ready for the road ahead.

So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.  Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.  And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.  Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites;  By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time. Ezra 8:30-34

God did indeed deliver them on a safe trip to Jerusalem as they asked.  When the treasures are checked in there is no shortfall and their mission is accomplished.  There is one last step to observe now.

Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.  And they delivered the king’s commissions unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God. Ezra 8:35-36

At the end of a good day it is good to give thanks, even as we begin the day by asking for that victory.  A sacrifice of praise to God is good to offer up all day long when we can.  When we reach our rest we can look forward to the great worship with our brethren in Yeshua.

SERVANT KING

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LETTER OF DELIVERANCE

Ezra leaves us official documentation of the events that opened the door of deliverance to Israel.  This is the evidence and assurance for generations to come that God does deliver his promises in his season.  God may bring us correction, but we are still his children, and his promise is not forgotten.

Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,  The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,  The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,  The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,  The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:  Ezra 7:1-5

Ezra is not ashamed to be identified with certainty.  He does not hide his identity or his belief in God.  He proclaims who he is so all can be sure that he is not ashamed to stand for God.  He tells us exactly who he is and where he lives; in the house of faith in God.

This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.  And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.  And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.  For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.  For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.  Ezra 7:6-10

Ezra had a purpose and he set out to fulfill his mission.  He was under orders and had the power of authority to perform his calling.  He had favor with God, and with man.  The letter of the king was just a formality added to the authority of the God who had prepared the way.  The authority of that letter was presented in detail here.

Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel. 

Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.  I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.  Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;  And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,  And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:  Ezra 7:11-16

The king recognizes the God of heaven, but some suggest that he honored more than one God.  At times the world will serve the Lord if only to gain favor with every “god”.  This could be a good political move or possibly a genuine knowledge of God.  In any case the material and political provision is delivered.

That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.  And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.  The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.  And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house. Ezra 7:17-20

This is not a cheap offering, as them vessels are precious metals coming out of the king’s treasury.  Food, materials, and labor are all provided. 

 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,  Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.  Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?  Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.  And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.  Ezra 7:21-25

I moved to Wyoming to do business free of state taxation.  So Ezra and Israel are also allowed to work tax free.  The authority of judgment and law enforcement are also extended to Ezra.  The power of law was complete to the death penalty too.

And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. 

Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:  And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.  Ezra 7:26-28

Ezra knows that the king is acting on what God has placed in his heart.  I know that political leaders may not understand God, but they can still be open to obey him.  Whoever is to lead the nations they will have the opportunity to serve God if they are open to him.  Some may resist, but God will always have his way in his time.

COURSE CORRECTION

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REDIRECTION

This new king has new information entered into evidence so he takes the action to evaluate it.  Israel has been hindered from rebuilding the temple because the former king’s orders have been forgotten. 

Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.  And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:  In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;  With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king’s house:  And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God.  Ezra 6:1-5

Here was the evidence of the former king’s decree for the Jews to rebuild the temple.  With such detail even the building features were specified.  The new king Darius is convinced to assure the continuation of this work. 

Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence:  Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.  Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.  And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:  That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.  Ezra 6:6-10

King Darius assures the completion of the work, and adds funding for it.  He further requires the opponents of the project to contribute and assure all provisions needed.  He expects the Jews to intercede on his behalf to God.  He makes a point to discourage any from preventing this service to the king.

Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.  And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.  Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily.  And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.  And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. Ezra 6:11-15

Hmmm…I thought that Persian king Artaxerxes had hindered the work, but Darius got the main point right anyway.  And he made rebellion against his command a capitol offense.  The offender would leave his family without shelter or provider.  Yet Israel recognized that their prosperity was of the commandment of God, the prophets promises, not of the king.

And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.  And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.  And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.  And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.  For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. Ezra 6:16-20

Now Israel had their temple again, and the law of Moses could be performed again.  Passover, offerings and purification were reinstated in Jerusalem.  How appropriate to observe the deliverance from Egypt even at the time they had just been delivered from captivity in Babylon.  They could now fully understand what a treasure they had in the Lord.  They observed the feasts with renewed understanding of their lessons.

And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,  And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.  Ezra 6:21-22

Huh?  King of Assryia?  Well the Persian empire included Assyria and Babylon too at that time.  http://jimhamilton.info/2010/08/02/ezra-622-darius-king-of-assyria-error-or-typological-biblical-theology/  What matters is that Israel has come out of those empires, separated again from filth.  Their return to observing the faith and the feasts of the Lord revived their joy.  Daniel had demonstrated a path of loyalty to the Persian king that Israel followed to their freedom.  We can prosper if we do not engage in carnal warfare when spiritual warfare is required.  Faith doesn’t need carnal conflict.

WYOMING TABERNACLES 2012

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SPECIAL REPORT:  FEAST OF TABERNACLES EXPERIMENT

I am experiencing an Old Testament Feast in some greater detail.  I moved my trailer to the Rock Lake campground to spend some time in a booth per the ancient commandment.  I will be here from Monday October 1 until about Thursday.  At that time I will move to the city park and use the trailer dump.  If you see this post, you may visit for a few hours or join the overnight adventures.  Technically I should build a booth of branches and live in it for the week.  I am cheating a bit with this nice trailer.

 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.  And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.  And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.  Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:  That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.  Leviticus 23:39-43

I did experience some of the plagues on my way out of town.  My house was invaded by flies for the entire week before.  I battles with poison, traps, and swatting frenzies.  I shattered a half dozen plastic fly swatters in the effort.  The invasion seems to be ending just in time, as I have few swatters left.  It is as if the Lord of the Flies wanted me to experience a reenactment of the Battle of Britain!

Loading required me to remember how I lived in this trailer for five months earlier this year.  I felt called to find a new home after struggling to start a business in Arizona.  My father had passed away, and I let my brother have his winter home in Arizona.  I went looking for a friendly business environment for new aerospace ventures.  This outing is a reminder of where I have come from in my Christian walk, as Israel was to remember their Exodus experience.

I did get enough provisions to live in camp, and got rolling by 1300 hours on Monday.  The Rock Lake camp is only a few miles from town, and offers a great mix of prairie and lakeside scenery.  The aspen trees are doing their color change, and the mountains provide a beautiful backdrop.  I sighted a large bird with white tail feathers which must have been an eagle.  Not a bad sign for my plan to do some design work while in camp! 

APPROACHING THE RED SEA…(ROCK LAKE)

In camp I stopped the trailer in an attractive camp site after a few loops around the possible sites.  We got out, opened the trailer and began setting up camp.  Then I noticed something attacking dog and I in the grass; sand burrs!  I saw hundreds of them in the trailer tires and spearing us through the outdoor carpeting.  Dog was constantly biting them out of her feet, so we had to relocate. 

THORN PATCH

Now Israel may have had some fun getting away from the Egyptians as they carried off their oppressor’s gold and treasures.  But how long did it take them to start complaining?  I may have had a few unfaithful mutterings when I had to move the camp myself.  So I curbed my complaining and set up again under some big trees.

Once the camp was looking nice I began setting up the internet satellite dish.  I can’t give up ALL my bad habits can I?  Once located the signal from the satellite, I tried to tune it in with the meter.  I couldn’t hit the target because of overhanging branches.  So I moved the dish again, and again.  I found the signal, but it was just beyond the reach of my cable from the trailer.  So I had to move the whole camp again.  A little more murmuring followed.  And a little more repentance followed that.

Now I had a nice comfortable camp for the dwelling in booths.  Modern Israel may be using plywood and aluminum booths, so this isn’t too inappropriate, right?  At least Israel still tries to dwell in the booths for the week.  Churches usually only set up a booth in the yard and mention the feast.  Wheatland Worship Center will have an observation of the Fest with Messianic worship and dance this year.  You may visit Wheatland Worship Center at 5pm on October 7 to enjoy this experience.  The 10 am service will also have some teaching on this.

As I set up the internet dish I noticed something else.  There is a pile of branches leaning against a tree in my camp.  Someone built a branch shelter just like the actual booths described in the Old Testament.  Uh-oh…the Lord provided me with no excuse or avenue of escape.  I do have the opportunity to do this the right way.  Did I hear praise to God or murmuring just then?

WHAT IS THAT BRUSH PILE ON THE RIGHT??

I had a bad experience with the sand burs which I complained about.  Then I whined about moving it all another three yards to reach the dish.  Did I remember the Jew who preceded my experience?

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  Acts 9:5

All I had to do was accept the fact of moving with the expectation of a reward.  God may place a detour to prevent a major collision, and to deliver us to a place of blessing.  Instead of a trailer booth I had a natural one, built by someone before me.  I could have just accepted the works of someone else, which paid the penalty that I could not afford. 

My dog Azalea is frantic with joy and celebration anyway.  We are alone in camping, and see few visitors at this time of the year.  Dog gets to run off the leash and chase squirrels to her heart’s content.  The sunset is painting the golden aspens, the lake and the mountains a golden hue.  She can run in the lake, track raccoons, and celebrate a dog’s life.  I am grateful that God keeps me on a leash most of the time, but it is nice to get some run time in his creation too.

NATURE GIRL…DANCES WITH WOOFS 

Well, I got my courage back after the initial trepidation and set up the booth for our campout.  Azalea has no issues with spending the night outdoors, especially in the wilderness of night creatures.  I on the other hand remember the trials of sleeping on the ground from six years of Army life.  I do have a surplus down filled sleeping bag and shared an old bag with the watchdog.

As it turned out, the cold night air was especially refreshing, and the bag was wonderfully warm and comforting.  The only lumps were not on the ground, but junk in my pockets.  Dog was content to keep an eye on the night prowlers from her bag, and we clung to the comforts until the sun demanded our presence.  The outhouse was also offering some services so we forced ourselves out of the cocoon of comfort.

 RISE AND SHINE!

Admittedly my camp offers some comforts the Jews did not have as they camped on the banks of the Red Sea.  I was able to crank up the generator and get the coffee maker bubbling away.  I could change clothes and wash up in a heated room.  But we were on the shores of the lake where some try to drive on the beach in their four wheel drive vehicles.  I saw no evidence of their wheels falling off, so I assume they were not Egyptian chariots.  We are not far from Goshen (County) though.  And this year you can walk on part of the lake bed, watching for the waters return being unnecessary.

 

If one considers fasting as giving up something for God, this dwelling may be hard on modern man.  Leaving the lights, phones, television, and internet is unimaginable!  For Israel it was also a retreat from prosperity and a reflection on distress of losing their homes, farms, and commercial ties.  But an experience living on the shores of God’s creation has much to replace our losses.  Israel had been only the nomadic family of Abraham.  They needed to be uprooted from prosperity to rediscover dependence on God.

When we sleep on the ground a dog is limited protection against a cougar or a snake.  In Arizona we were in places like the Sinai where heat and nature were even more threatening.  That fool Columbus released pigs in the new world, so herds of nasty beasts can surprise you in many states.  Domestic hogs recently ate their own farmer.  Leaving your modern shelter can awaken a need for help that we should never lose.  Danger is with us in this century as much as ever. 

  

I am encouraged to see how Daniel devoured scripture.  I expect he was inspired by Joseph to serve God in captivity.  Like Joseph he became the prime minister or vice president of an enemy nation.  We should expect a path of safety for our own prosperity in the presence of this generation of raging heathen.  We should begin to see that path rolling out ahead of our headlights in the darkest night.  

His word is a lamp and a roadmap at the same time.  It embraces the past, present and future because it is the Alpha and the Omega; it is Yeshua Ha Meschia.  Jesus is the word, and this study is our fellowship with him.  He told us to have fellowship with the father as we pray “Our Father who is in heaven”.  We also fellowship with the Holy Spirit in our relationship with spirit filled believers.  This time of harvest should revive our relationship with the trinity in prayer, bible study, and Christian fellowship.

Set aside some time to back up in time and consider where Yeshua found you, and where your journey has taken you.  From the bondage of sin we still need to grow through the wilderness of sin before we can enter the Promised Land.  Perhaps we will remember enough of God’s miracles to be a bit slower to anger and curse.  We may be able to celebrate the warmth of each new dawn with a warm cup of appreciation for God.  

FOOTNOTE:   TAB-BRRR-NACLES!

I left the booth for the comfort of the trailer when the winds reached gale force.  Dog still had fun with all the wild animal tracks and scents.  She was having a ball!

True to her heritage my mix lab-coon dog treed a family of racoons last night.  After so much fun it was hard to leave to dump the tanks and refill the water supply.

We moved to the city park for the last three days to recharge the tanks and hookup to electrical power.

Dog loves this park for the squirrels so we set up and enjoyed a beautiful night in town.  I awakened to a seemingly foggy dawn.  No it was something else…SNOW!

Dog was unimpressed with this light dusting and resingned herself to a hard day of indoor confinement and…doggy television.

It’s a dog’s life!

So do we have to observe the Old Testament feasts today?  Not as a bondage, but as an opportunity.  We are not under the law, but we can learn from it.  You can come closer to the observance of the feasts by testing a bit of each in your own life.  Visit a Messianic fellowship or sample some of the traditional foods of Israel.  Spend some time in God’s creation and appreciate the creator more than ever before.  Taste the lessons God has led others through and discover special treats you never expected!